The Nerve Of This Chef "friend"--Long Vent

Decorating By Mac Updated 25 Nov 2008 , 12:32am by Karema

Mac Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 3:56am
post #1 of 57

Well, ya know, I had a feeling about this all along but no proof. Now I have it!

I have a pastry Chef "friend" that I have known for a couple of years. He orders cakes from me occasionally. The last few cakes he has ordered, he would give me the info. When I would ask him to have his clients call me, they never would and he always said that he gave them my number (a couple of the orders ended up wrong b/c HE gave me the incorrect info).

This past week I made a "boob" cake for him...he gave me the order a month ago, but when I quoted the price, he said to wait until he talked with his client. Fast forward to Tuesday after 5:00--he calls to tell me the client wants the cake for Friday noon icon_eek.gif . Did it anyway AND it looked awesome if I do say so myself (in my photos). Delivered it to the Chef "friend".

Went back at 1:30 to collect my money and chef had just left on an errand--cake was still there. A lady came in and asked to take a picture of the "cake that Chef made." Store owner didn't know which cake as chef was working on a wedding cake. I asked the lady if she meant the "boob" cake. She said yes--at which time I told her that I made that cake and that Chef couldn't sculpt a cake. Lady took a pic and then I noticed on the box that my business sticker had been removed.

The RAT was removing my business tag and telling his clients that HE made them. Some friend! I haven't confronted him yet--I know he will deny it and say that his clients misunderstood him. I am so mad, I could spit nails. I think I will tell him that I no longer take third party orders, client contacts me or no order! I will politely tell him that I found out that a person that orders from me was claiming my work as theirs and even removing my sticker from the box. Never really accusing him but letting him know that I KNOW!

56 replies
potatocakes Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 4:06am
post #2 of 57

Unbelievable! I would definitely confront him, but I would let him know I know it's him in a more direct way. I would tell him the "misunderstanding" your clients have about the cakes and ask him who removed your business sticker and why. That's just outrageous. Completely unprofessional. And btw, your work is amazing! You deserve to get full credit!!! Good luck!

Melvira Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 4:11am
post #3 of 57

Man, I'm sorry to hear this. I agree that you should just let him know no 3rd party orders. If the customer doesn't call you, you will not accept the order. NO exceptions. If he pursues it, then you can let him know in a completely honest way, exactly what happened. You can keep it professional and just tell him you don't work that way, or, if he is truly supposed to be a friend, you can let him know on a personal, emotional level, what that did to you. Good luck, and again, I'm super sorry!

indydebi Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 4:36am
post #4 of 57

I have mixed feelings on this one. I certainly understand the frustration of the situation ..... someone flat out taking credit for someone else's work is never a good thing.

But lots of foods in restaurants are subcontracted and/or made elsewhere. My sister's favorite soup at Appleby's is purchased frozen from GFS ... someone else makes it, yet my sister swore Appleby's "made" the best soup in the world (until I educated her about it). Most of the fancy desserts in a lot of food places are purchased from GFS, Sysco and others .... made by someone else and sold under the restaurant name. I mean, when the waiter brings me my dessert, he sure doesn't tell me what brand it is, who made it or where they bought it.

I did a post-style-show dessert catering at Macy's this past weekend. A couple of folks asked me, when I offered them the tray of cheesecakes and other desserts, "Who's doing all of this?" I told them, "Oh you know Macy's ... they know how to do things up right!" icon_biggrin.gif

and yeah, for those who specfically asked for my card, I just "happened" to have some in my pocket icon_rolleyes.gif , but primarily this was Macy's show and that's how I presented it to their shoppers.

I guess my view would be "did I get paid for it? Then what's the problem?"

Kitagrl Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 4:53am
post #5 of 57

I can see Indy's point....I understand how it may be offensive to find out your stickers are being removed. However on the other hand, once you get your money, the cake is his to do as he pleases with. Its true, more restaurants use prepackaged foods than we'd care to know about!

I would think my main beef with this is that, by using your cakes under his name, you are not getting any referrals....people might return to HIS business, but not yours. Because of that, I probably would not do too many more cakes for him...maybe once in awhile, but not regularly unless he agrees to give out your card if someone asks.

Mac Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 4:57am
post #6 of 57

I understand you views on it, but I want to be the one known for doing "Awesome cakes" and not some other person taking credit for my work. I view them as works of arts, not just cake. I don't think Dali or Van Gogh would go for someone taking their masterpieces, removing their names and taking credit for the work.

I put alot of time into sculpting...this guy is NOT a decorator or designer. I have watched him make wedding cakes and they are lop-sided, he sticks the flowers into the cakes, and all of his cakes look the same. He has even told my niece that I use canned frosting on my cakes. She told him, "No she doesn't because I have helped her make it."

And yes, I did get paid but that still does not make it right for someone to "steal" my cake. This is right up there with people "stealing" the cake pics and claiming them as their work.

mixinvixen Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 5:08am
post #7 of 57

you have 4 options here, the way i see it

1) bust him to his face, however nicely or meanly you want to be

2) refuse to do cakes anymore for him

3) put something in it that would embarass him, kind of like that toilet paper roll story that has been told on here...don't really recommend that one, though it makes me grin in my fantasies!

4) slap several business cards in a circle under the contact paper, protected from the grease of the cake,highly visible no matter how many pieces of cake are cut. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE...LET HIM SINK HIMSELF. revenge is so much sweeter when served with a smile.

Mac Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 5:10am
post #8 of 57

Oooooh, mixinvixen, I love option 4.

jsmith Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 5:31am
post #9 of 57

I disagree with the view that once he pays for it he can claim it came from his restaurant . If it were just dessert cakes then I'd understand but sculpted and decorated cakes are works of art and I think he's a jerk for taking the credit. I wouldn't be able to take any more orders from him.

Mike1394 Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 11:22am
post #10 of 57

I agree w/ Debi. I would run it by him though. I would also tell him how I found out, BUT. It would be more of "I wish you would've said something" kind of thing.

If your selling wholesale to a restraunt do you think the customers care who made the dessert, or that it tastes good?

Mike

cakesdivine Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 2:04pm
post #11 of 57

Sorry, but you don't buy a cake from a competitor, and then pass it off as your own when you are in the same biz. A restaurant is offering a dessert. I also do desserts for restaurants, some put my name on them, some don't but they are just desserts, not custom crafted works of art.

I am also a dance educator/choreographer. We battle this same sort of issue in the dance world. People taking or buying choreography and claiming it as their own...it sucks! thumbsdown.gif

Karma will prevail...it will come back to bite him in the behind soon enough.

Look on the bright side, it is a backhanded compliment! He obviously likes your work and cake taste enough to pass it on as his...lol!

cakesdivine Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 2:16pm
post #12 of 57

Sorry but you don't purchase a competitor's cake and then pass it off as your own. Restaurants aren't a competitor offering the samething, they usually don't have the time to hire a dedicated pastry chef or don't want the expense so they out source that part of their business.

I am also a dance educator/choreographer. We have this same issue in the dance world...people buying choreography, and passing it off as their own. A couple of years ago I was teaching for a lady who bought all her choreography from a woman in Oklahoma. Well I judge dance competitions all over the nation. I had been rehearsing one Jr. Duo for several months with one of these purchased dances, well (now remember I am in Texas) I was judging a competition in Florida. A Jr. Duo to the same song was announced. The couple came out and the opening pose was identical...didn't think much about it at the time, except great minds think alike, but then as the routine progressed it was step for step the SAME routine...LOL! I had to laugh and warn the studio owner that she needed to be careful that when she purchased choreography to make sure she was getting the one & only of that routine and that it wasn't being peddled all over the nation. How embarrasing would it be to arrive at a National competition and end up competing against the same routine! Kind of like the "Bring It On" scenario....SPIRIT FINGERS... icon_lol.gif But I digress...

Look at the bright side it is quite a backhanded compliment for him to value your work so much that he wants to claim it as his own.

I like the biz card idea from above...definitely do that from now on. I would do just one more for him just to be able to use this method then bust him!

cakesdivine Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 2:18pm
post #13 of 57

Oh gosh I got an error message telling me the reply didn't go through....sorry for the double post, didn't remember what I said exactly the first time so reason for similar response...

potatocakes Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 2:51pm
post #14 of 57

Sorry for the double post -- it said there was an error, so I posted again! icon_rolleyes.gif

potatocakes Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 2:52pm
post #15 of 57

I understand your point Debi, but places like GFS and Sysco make and package their goods for the purpose of selling to restaurants for their use, knowing they will be resold under that restaurant's name. They know that's what is happening and that's the purpose of their business. However, an individual trying to build a well-known custom cake business is a different story entirely. He's claiming her work as his without her permission.

I like the idea of placing the business cards under the cake -- let his customers confront him about it! icon_lol.gif

fem128 Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 3:03pm
post #16 of 57

You have every right to be livid. He is taking credit for someone else's work. What he is doing is wrong-plain and simple. He never approached you about using you as a wholesale supplier and that's where the problem is. I would just confront him about it and then sever all ties.

grannys3angels Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 4:44pm
post #17 of 57

IMO he was misleading and not truthful, to you and those getting the cake. He lead you to believe that he was telling the people who order the cakes, that they came from you.

Then also misleading the people who order them, that he made them...when it was you making them. This chef/friend got caugh with his hand in the cake box.

If he would of said, I'll get the cakes from you and tell them I made the cake, and you agree with that, then he has every right...but that was not the case. From what you said in your post, he was telling you that he told them or let them know that the cakes came from you, so yes he does not have the right to do so, without you agreeing to it.

I also like the idea of placing the card under the cake...but I have the feeling if he was ask about it, he would say "he got the boxes/cake boards for a great deal from a cake decorator going out of business". What kind of friend does something like this to another friend? icon_surprised.gif

For me, I would agree with Mel and try to handle it this way. Sorry this happen to you and good luck, with what ever way you choose to handle it.
God Bless,
Sharon

jammjenks Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 4:53pm
post #18 of 57

IMO -

Him reselling your cakes...not so bad.
Him lying to you about it...unacceptable.

If his customers keep liking your cakes, he'll have to keep ordering from you. As long as you get paid what you ask, you're ok. I always say, "Once I'm paid, I don't care what the customer does with the cake. They can run over it with the car if they want to."

Great boobs, BTW icon_wink.gifthumbs_up.gif

Ironbaker Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 5:43pm
post #19 of 57

Oh, I know you were ticked, Mac...I'd be annoyed too.

And I also disagree with the "you got paid, it's his" thinking. I get the idea of selling to others so they can sell with their business but to me, this is completely different. I never question a dessert I buy at a restaurant because it's only that - a dessert. I don't care where it comes from, as long as it's good.

But if I ordered a work of art and it clearly is showing someone's artistic talents, I would be curious to know who did it - in case I want to use them later on. If he's telling people that he did it, to me, that's just plain wrong and misleading. To me, doing whatever you want with the cake once purchased is different from telling people you created it. Really, I don't see it as any different from those that claim pictures of a cake as their own.

I know caterers who do not do cakes and make it a point to let others know who did the cake. I've also been to local shops or businesses who sell desserts made by an outside vendor and they also make it known.

Mac, I'd definitely stop going through him for orders. If he has someone wanting a cake, they should contact you. And I'd just directly say that. It saves you from wrong orders, confusion and you want people to know your work. If you confront him, let us know how it goes! I'm sure he'll deny it.

Mac Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 6:27pm
post #20 of 57

This chef friend does not have a restaurant. He is a personal chef for clients and has a catering business (Not legal, I might add).

I agree that if I am ordering a dessert at a restaurant, it's just dessert. But if someone orders a specific cake that takes hours to make from sculpting, then that's a different story.

I have confronted him about it...his claim (as I knew it would be) was that the clients just misunderstood. The sticker thing--"well, it wasn't stuck on the box good and a edge of it stuck to something else. When I tried to fix it, it tore off the box". Good one, huh?

So now, he is off on another "catastrophe" in his catering business and will have forgotten all about the cake saga until he wants to order another one from me.

Mike1394 Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 7:53pm
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac

This chef friend does not have a restaurant. He is a personal chef for clients and has a catering business (Not legal, I might add).

I agree that if I am ordering a dessert at a restaurant, it's just dessert. But if someone orders a specific cake that takes hours to make from sculpting, then that's a different story.

I have confronted him about it...his claim (as I knew it would be) was that the clients just misunderstood. The sticker thing--"well, it wasn't stuck on the box good and a edge of it stuck to something else. When I tried to fix it, it tore off the box". Good one, huh?

So now, he is off on another "catastrophe" in his catering business and will have forgotten all about the cake saga until he wants to order another one from me.




Now that is different. It's more of the Personal chef thing that has me bugged. It's kind of getting the gig on false pretenses.

Mike

kelleym Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 8:10pm
post #22 of 57

I think there's a difference between places like GFS that exist SPECIFICALLY so other restaurants can take credit for their goods, and a work of art like a custom cake.

Mac is not a behind-the-scenes gun-for-hire. She's an artist whose friend is essentially stealing her talent by claiming credit for her work. What a jerk.

tiggy2 Posted 18 Nov 2008 , 9:59pm
post #23 of 57

Well Mac whn he orders the next one just be sure you have plenty ofyour cards un clear contact paper on the board (under the cake where he can't see them icon_smile.gif

akgirl10 Posted 19 Nov 2008 , 7:41am
post #24 of 57

I wouldn't be surprised if he paid you X amount of dollars for the cake, and then turned around and charged X plus 50 to his clients.

If you get a lot of business through him, perhaps you should just insist on talking to the client directly. I think because he also makes cakes he is trying to pass your cakes off as his. Sorry for your situation.

akgirl10 Posted 19 Nov 2008 , 7:41am
post #25 of 57

I wouldn't be surprised if he paid you X amount of dollars for the cake, and then turned around and charged X plus 50 to his clients.

If you get a lot of business through him, perhaps you should just insist on talking to the client directly. I think because he also makes cakes he is trying to pass your cakes off as his. Sorry for your situation.

dldbrou Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 2:23am
post #26 of 57

Maybe someone could invent a finished cake board with your logo, website and business information printed on the board.

newmansmom2004 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 2:40am
post #27 of 57

I understand your anger, but I think I have to agree with Indydebi on this one - if you're getting paid for your cakes that's what matters. Of course it would be nice to get the credit and I might just tell the guy that you know he's taking credit and you like doing the orders, but from now on you want the customers to know that YOU are doing the cakes, not him. He should be respectful enough of you to tell them something like, "Oh we have the BEST gal who makes our cakes for us," when people ask about them.

He's being kind of a turd but in the end he's paying you and continuing to place orders.

By the way - great work on your cakes!

dinas27 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 2:48pm
post #28 of 57

oh I would be livid! Good for you for confronting him about it.

I have to disagree as well with the 'your getting paid that's all that matters'.

You are trying to build up a business and get your name out there. If he is always having these 'catastrophes' he likely will go out of business at one point or be caught doing things illegeally and forced to shut down. Either way you lose the business because the cakes were associated with him and not your your stable, reputable business. I would say no more third party cakes.

woodthi32 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 3:04pm
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I have mixed feelings on this one. I certainly understand the frustration of the situation ..... someone flat out taking credit for someone else's work is never a good thing.

But lots of foods in restaurants are subcontracted and/or made elsewhere. My sister's favorite soup at Appleby's is purchased frozen from GFS ... someone else makes it, yet my sister swore Appleby's "made" the best soup in the world (until I educated her about it). Most of the fancy desserts in a lot of food places are purchased from GFS, Sysco and others .... made by someone else and sold under the restaurant name. I mean, when the waiter brings me my dessert, he sure doesn't tell me what brand it is, who made it or where they bought it.

I did a post-style-show dessert catering at Macy's this past weekend. A couple of folks asked me, when I offered them the tray of cheesecakes and other desserts, "Who's doing all of this?" I told them, "Oh you know Macy's ... they know how to do things up right!" icon_biggrin.gif

and yeah, for those who specfically asked for my card, I just "happened" to have some in my pocket icon_rolleyes.gif , but primarily this was Macy's show and that's how I presented it to their shoppers.

I guess my view would be "did I get paid for it? Then what's the problem?"



Indy debi, I very rarely disagree with you, but there are no mixed feelings to be had here, IMO. What took place was deception, not subcontracting. This situation in fact has ZERO to do with subcontracting.

woodthi32 Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 3:12pm
post #30 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I can see Indy's point....I understand how it may be offensive to find out your stickers are being removed. However on the other hand, once you get your money, the cake is his to do as he pleases with. Its true, more restaurants use prepackaged foods than we'd care to know about!

I would think my main beef with this is that, by using your cakes under his name, you are not getting any referrals....people might return to HIS business, but not yours. Because of that, I probably would not do too many more cakes for him...maybe once in awhile, but not regularly unless he agrees to give out your card if someone asks.




What the HEll is wrong with you people!? LOL
I can't believe what I am reading! This is deception on the part of a friend, not sketchy business practice on the part of a client. And it is flat out WRONG. Have we completely lost the idea of right and wrong in this society where capitalism is our religion, and all that matters is that we get paid, and how the other guy gets paid doesn't matter? Not only that but he is STEALING intellectual property by passing it off as his own...and from a FRIENDicon_smile.gif I think people who even question whether or not this guy is completely in the wrong need to step back and remember themselves.

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